No applications for new satellite channels will be accepted until further notice, according to a statement on the Indian Ministry for Information and Broadcasting (MIB).
The announcement cites ongoing spectrum shortages as the main reason for the decision.
“It has been observed that although improved technologies have resulted in better utilization of the available spectrum and transponder capacities, the spectrum and transponder capacities for satellite TV channels are not unlimited,” said the official notice.
“A need is felt to revisit the present policy for uplinking and downlinking with respect to the approach towards grant of permission [sic] including the eligibility criteria and the terms and conditions of the permission,” it continued.
“Pending receipt of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recommendations on the issues and decisions thereon, it has been decided to suspend receiving applications for permissions to uplink TV channels from India and downlink TV channels in India under uplinking/downlinking guidelines with immediate effect, till further notice.”
The move should not affect regional broadcasters with existing agreements to uplink from India but it does raise question marks over the future of any channels resting in the development process.